The Middle East must be regarded today as the most effervescent and potentially dangerous regional sub-system of the now global International Political System. The difficulties of the Federal Republic in its relations with the Middle East sprang from three main causes: that because of the burden of Germanys past it became closely tied to Israel with which it established a special relationship; that it also actively promoted good relations with the Arab states, locked in bitter conflict with Israel; and that it became vulnerable as a result of the division of Germany and its aspirations of reunification, which brought it into conflict with the Soviet Union and thus into the Cold War. British imperial lines of communication were no longer the main reason for western hegemony: the concern of the US government was to prevent the Soviet Union from establishing itself there, especially since the western industrial nations were becoming more dependent on Middle Eastern oil.